poetry and poets

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

deplaning in miami

deplaning in miami
tony gallucci

Chan K'in peeled fletch from green parrot feathers
Edged in blood Wind and circumstance Spit on the cuticle
Pressed to densewood shaft Wrapped with split vine
The stone black point of his son saying gracias to the tourists
You bought the whole set cheap Confiscated on deplaning
In Miami Smiling your Protecting the rainforest smile
the greed and Corporations don't kill People kill smile
Planting seeds for conversation among the natives
Muddy coarse white-cloth-tied ochre-sodded hair
The length of Dreams & You alone reseeded the world

The paper in San Cristobal de las Casas knew the story it told
It was the party told the mayor told the soldiers
Told the thugs See The party dressed down the town
Dressed in camouflage Dressing forty-three bodies
Government-issue bullets and hatred in old big bore
Rifles fresh from Guatemala via Honduras A little Cuba
Thrown in to incite Or was it excite the revolutionaries
All courtesy corporate charity Guilty-conscience
Conservative gringo churches couldn't find any other way
To mask the stench of affluence Desperate for quote
Clean schools Send the lost-and-founds Leftover
Boxes of noodles To missions for the children of the ones
Vanished In baskets passed on Sunday Sprinkle rose petals
Holy water and Hallelujahs Shake a fist Thank God
For our merciful selves Where's the camera?

I saw Chan K'in smile on NBC confused Yes Why have
His people been seen wearing balaclavas Waving pistols?
They do not leave the jungle he said Selling bows to
Tourists who won't see the Lacandon in the wet years
He shows the cameras dented yellow corn in dry fields Peels
The ears Plucks gunmetal blue beetles from the milk
Kernels Hands them to the man with so many questions
Points to smoke on the mountain behind them A laughing
Soldier is there to protect the crew In greased hands he holds
A Tamandua grita he shot Un Animalito he says Laughing
Nu c'uhuk bëk' said Chan K'in
Like sweet honey from the gatherers two meals away
Lights copal Washes the air with redolent fingers
Blows fear over the corn Whispers to the Anteater
The camera follows He closes his eyes We do not leave
The jungle he said You must not understand Anger It
Steals boys before they marry and hands them guns

The cameras want to see Bonampak & Yaxchilan They want
Explanations & Dreamland Everyone who goes there
Dies a little he said Where'd he get permission to
Stage wars then Who is His commander How many
Are there Who has died? Chan K'in's eyes seek his
The jungle answers questions he said We are only place
And time You are looking for People who are not
People but Kings Changing and Night is a thousand
Zeroes on these stone calendars Yes we are Lacandones
Yes we all look the same We are masked
Families conceal Why not? He said
We know of bullets & Know of Spit on the road
Posters of men without faces Yes we are not alone with
Cascabeles Black owls con ojos like suns ask the
Same questions you ask All night We are sleepless
Yes we know people who are not People but want to be
Yes Truth speaks quietly in huts On trails Moves from
Lip to lip in the dark We know your name and see your face
And will not forget

I embarrass Chan K'in with fragments of Lacandona
He stood in drifting mist holding mutely painted bows
And crafted arrows and spoke to me in broken Spanish
No These I am going to sell Yo voy a vender When the
Children eat the flesh of these k'am.bul then they are
Gifts of the .22 rifle It was this caused me to look hard
At the wrap of his fingers Tight around the bows
The creases on his cheeks His ears The curve of his toes
The spaces between them room for a hundred revolutions
If every minute spent alive was an injustice to someone
Somewhere His flattened thousand-miles-walked feet
Still red with mud from paths today Feet that once
Never touched the same spill of soil Satellite trucks
Anoint now with late twentieth
Blessing heathens with ?u hacil hacëkyum Curtains of
Smoke coughing up the ugly past and the Ocosingo Madness
Broadcasting daily with former members and expert analyses
And government denial And brought Chan K'in home
To me .22 in hand Selling piece-of-himself feathered arrows
To souvenir liquor Bags-packed reporters who must
Deplane in Miami and smile